NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence's new facility unveiled in Tallinn

Friday, March 15th, marks the inauguration of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence’s new building in Tallinn. This establishment is set to offer state-of-the-art facilities for the daily endeavors of cyber experts from NATO and like-minded non-NATO nations.

“The fact that the NATO CCDCOE is the only centre of excellence that includes all NATO member states, as well as partners from around the world, clearly demonstrates the significance and broad scope. In addition to the kinetic dimension, the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine also has a cyber dimension, which has led states with shared values to increasingly appreciate the power of sharing knowledge and information. I am happy to see that from now on developments in cyber security will have a worthy space to grow,” said Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary Kusti Salm.

Since its establishment in 2008, the NATO CCDCOE has evolved into the Alliance’s paramount Centre of Excellence. It provides cutting-edge insights into developments within the cyber realm to both NATO and its member nations. Currently, the centre boasts membership from 32 NATO member states and 7 non-NATO countries. Estonia, serving as the host nation, is currently actively supporting the accession process of three countries: Albania, North Macedonia, and Australia. A notable advancement has been the joining of Ukraine, Japan, and Korea into the centre, significantly broadening NATO CCDCOE’s comprehensive global view on the capabilities and cyber operations of adversarial nations.

“Increased geopolitical tensions and the wider availability of new technologies have made cyber-attacks much more complex in nature and also significantly more targeted. As a result, the necessity for international collaboration with our Allies and partners becomes ever more critical,” stated Dr. Mart Noorma, Director of NATO CCDCOE. “Thanks to Estonia’s additional contribution, we are now better positioned to enhance our collective capabilities in securing cyberspace, both within Estonia and globally,” he added.

Key projects of the centre include Locked Shields, the largest and most intricate live-fire cyber resilience exercise in the world; the Tallinn Manual, a guide on the application of international law to cyber operations; the CyCon conference, annually assembling the world’s foremost cyber specialists in Tallinn; and Crossed Swords, a technical cyber exercise with an offensive focus.

Nordlin Ehitus was tasked with the architectural design and construction of the facility. The three-floor building, of which two floors will be used by CCDCOE,  encompasses contemporary office spaces, meeting rooms and an auditorium, all culminating in a total expenditure of 6.2 million euros, furnishings included.

Ando Voogma, the North and North-eastern Portfolio Manager at the Estonian Centre for Defence Investments, expressed, “We are immensely proud to have played a part in bolstering global cyber security and awareness through establishing an apt and modern setting for NATO’s flagship centre.” He praised the collaborative efforts with both the building contractor and the centre’s end-users, reaffirming ongoing support for the premises’ upkeep.